RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided additional funding to the ongoing Philippines ReachHealth project to support the local government in preventing and minimizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. By the end of April, there were more than 8,200 confirmed cases, 550 deaths, and 1,000 recovered cases from COVID-19 in the Philippines.
With this funding, ReachHealth, implemented by RTI International, a nonprofit research and global development institute, will strengthen the capacity of municipalities, cities, and communities in approximately 10-15 local government units across the Philippines to manage COVID-19 outbreaks through rapid response, case management and prevention, and other disease mitigation measures. This builds on the project’s current work to improve maternal, child and adolescent health outcomes throughout the Philippines.
“Through our work on the USAID ReachHealth project, we have seen the importance of building local ownership to strengthen the capacity of systems to deliver essential health care services,” said Richard Reithinger, RTI’s vice president for global health. “We are proud to continue to support the provision of these health services to Filipino families, while pairing our expertise in health systems strengthening and infectious disease response to execute an integrated approach to tackling COVID-19 and building resilience to future disease outbreaks in the Philippines.”
The project will collaborate closely with USAID, the Philippine government, private sector, academia, civil society, and other key development partners such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations. It will work to delay the spread of COVID-19 through risk communication and community engagement; contain the spread of disease by strengthening capacity for early detection, isolation and care; minimize disruption to local health systems; and generate and share adaptive solutions to mitigate local challenges.
The new effort builds on RTI’s more than 25 years of experience in helping developing countries and communities prepare for, respond to and recover from a range of infectious disease threats, including Ebola, Zika, and now COVID-19. It also leverages the institute’s cross-sectoral expertise in building resilience to fight emerging pandemic threats.